Murrieta Mesa High playoff chances were dashed Friday night when the Rams could not answer the Wolfpack, losing 37-21 to Great Oak. Trailing 24-14 at the half, the Rams defense could not find the key to stop the Wolfpack’s running game. The Wolfpack added 13 more points while holding the Rams to only a touchdown in the second half to clinch the win.
The Rams ended the season 6-4 (1-4 conference), the best record in the program’s short history. Murrieta Mesa Football has steadily improved year after year and was looking to be in the post-season playoffs for the first time in school history. That will have to wait till next season.
Great Oak coach Robbie Robinson reverted to what made the Wolfpack successful earlier in the season — the running the ball. Great Oak (5-5, 2-3) ran for 376 yards through a tough Rams defense, which had improved as the season progressed.
Wolfpack Jakob Certeza led Great Oak’s running attack with 234 yards and three touchdowns. He credited his offensive line for the team’s success Friday night.
“My offensive line was great tonight,” he said. “They just gave me big holes and I read them.”
Great Oak’s quarterback Carson Luna and running back Zach McIntosh had 66 yards rushing each.
Keita Calhoun connected a 28- and 33-yard field goals for Great Oak while Raekwon Yates had two of the three Wofpack interceptions against Murrieta Mesa.
Rams quarterback Parker Erickson was 22-of-38 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. Erickson hit wide receiver and defensive back Gilbert Toves for both touchdown receptions. Toves ended the game with nine catches for 116 yards. Junior wide receiver Danny Castro had four catches for 81 yards.
The Inland Empire’s all-time reception leader Khalil Sharpe padded his own record, hauling in eight catches for 91 yards. Sharpe ended his prep career with 190 receptions.
Starting quarterback Chase Chambers’ absence not only affected the passing game, but the running attack as well. The Rams were held to 102 yards rushing. Rams’ junior running back Kyler Vasquez had 77 yards rushing and a touchdown.